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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Kecelakaan Selam (Scuba Diving Accident)... kumpulan kisah, video, analisa etc

Semakin banyak kita menyelam, semakin tinggi sertifikasi yang kita miliki, ada baiknya kita juga menyempatkan diri menoleh ke belakang, melihat catatan kecelakaan selam yang telah terjadi, baik yang menyebabkan fatalities (kematian) hingga yang hanya dikategorikan near miss saja....

Some of the example of diving accident would be reiterated again here for us to learn together...
This thread will constantly be added so please fill free to add your learning material and I would be more than happy to add it here for us all...


1. Blue Hole Dahab : Yuri Lipski (1977-2000).
The blue hole of Dahab in Egypt has been a cemetery for quite number of divers.
You could find a lot of videos on youtube, but perhaps the most famous one is the videos from Yuri Lipski. This one become very famous because he use a camera attached in his head and filmed his own death.
Youtube link :
Videos from Yuri's camera : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eejQPUyeNiY
Recovery of Yuri's body : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eejQPUyeNiY

The blue hole is a Lagoon (which has a connection with open sea from above) with a 'special' entry at 52m overhang (bottom at 110+ at this entry).
We could have an 'easy' entry from the top, but one could always found a special, more challenging entry at the bottom which also connected the blue hole to the red sea.

The difficulties in this situation is that the 52m entry has 26m width overhang before diver could start ascend to the surface. Also it is said to have a shoreward current that makes the horizontal swim even more difficult.

But perhaps the most crucial one is the danger of nitrogen (and oxygen) narcosis.
Deep dive has close correlation with risk of nitrogen narcosis which is the lost of direction, lost of control over some part of the body, etc.
And deeper dive theoretically deeper than 1.6 (or 1.7) O2 Partial Pressure (which is about 66m) has an increasing risj of oxygen narcosis which is quicker and more deadly than the nitrogen case.

Yuri's body was found at 91.5m and the video he made shown a 'relax' attempt to descend and hit the bottom.
Some people would judge that Yuri was trying to do a '100 meter bounce' (touching 100m and then back up).
The exact reason of Yuri's death was still unclear but the most reasonable explanation would be because of Oxygen or Nitrogen Narcosis of deep dive (You can see in his video, after he hit the bottom he is unable to ascend, showing symptom of disorientation and panic).




2. Phuket Thailand, Moray Eel bites.
We've been told not to touch anything while diving.
We've been taught the dangerous sea creatures that we must try to avoid contact with.
But apparently in Thailand the 'dance with moray eel' has become quite an attraction for tourist.
Until one day this westerner instructor and guides lost his thumb due to moray eel bites.
To cut the story short, he has lost his thumb but replaced it with one of one of his toe, luckily the surgery went well.
Youtube short cut : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHNpYxCSnUM
the accident occurred after 3:20 minutes of video play.

The lesson to learn is not to play with animals no matter how good we know them, they are still wild and uncontrollable...




3. A Near miss, Photo anxious diver forget to check depth and pressure gauges.

Youtube short cut : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTQFcBIyqH8
Diver with camera, surpassing their certificate depth limitation, did not check their gauge and almost run out of air if they were not reminded.
Apparently they do not have the right diving habit and the buddy were too young to think of risk...

This is why we must dive with the 'right' kind of people, with the 'right' procedure and discipline.




4. 2012 Fatality @Maratua

May 2nd 2012, a 36 years old Chinese diver died at Maratua, east Kalimantan, Indonesia.
News and report has been on the internet for several days when I type this section...

Apparently like the journalist is not a diver nor prepared to write about diving,
they use the term "Master Driver" or "Master Dive" for the guides at Paradise Resort.
I do not think they are 'dive instructors' as one of the report says.

The news might not be adequate to pin point the exact cause of death but definitely we could identify some wrong behavior that should we say very common among divers @ Indonesia.
Please read the news in 'bahasa' Indonesia.
http://kaltim.tribunnews.com/2012/05/03/wna-asal-cina-tewas-saat-menyelam-di-perairan-maratua-berau
http://m.jpnn.com/news.php?id=126416


Firstly we could understand that these recreational divers were diving below the recreational depth allowed (30m, they dove to 35m). Yes they are 40m 'maksimum' depth for recreational but this standard is set not out of no reason, only experienced, advanced level diver could go beyond 18m.

Secondly, for sure the group diving and buddy system does not work in this group. They paid the consequences.
From the more detailed story at jpnn, we understand that the DM were busy reminding the diver that they should go up to 25m. Surely this will not be a problem if they really dove in group, 8 divers with 2 DM is adequate and ok as long as everybody dove more or less at the same depth and speed.
If the DM should go up and down, looking for their guest then definitely they are not in a good control with the group.

This might not be entirely the DM's fault, many divers are really take easy on diving rules, because they have the money they think they can buy everything and expect the DM to be a superman who could fly instantly to wherever they need him. Each diver has individual goals that might not be accommodated in the session but they insist to fullfill their individual wishes, making it hard for the DM to accommodate them all.

Looks like the dive session was really a mess from common diving regulation perspective.
It should have been an easy dive since they dove near the resort's jetty.

Up till now we do not know exactly why the diver died, as usual there are always be speculation about the cause of death, but for sure we knew that this could only happen because of lack of respect of diving rule, a human error that makes all the emergency procedure were never occurred should they needed.





4. 2012, July Pasir Putih Accident

July 7th 2012, 2 navy soldier died at Pasir Putih, Situbondo on a submarine training that halted immediately due to the accident.
According to local news paper, Jawa Pos, which wrote the accident at their front page on Sunday, July 8th, the navy was rehearsing submarine escape training which was held at 21m of depth.
6 person were supposed to be rescued and escape from the sunk submarine. The first 2 person could escaped in 15 minutes safely but the next 2 person need longer time, around 30minutes to escape and they coming out to the surface with blood through nose and ears, bubble from the mouth.
Not much information could be gathered as the journalists were sent to land immediately after the accident and the navy up to this moment did not release formal announcement.

The 2 victims were ranked Colonel and Major, they use submarine escape suit and according to the Jakartagreater.com the Oxygen bottle in their suit did not function (the hose did not connected or loose)  that they were forced to pop up to the surface.
News from the local people and fisherman says the mariner were stuck during escape and ran out of Oxygen.
I believe lack of training cause them (two high rank officer) fail to slow down during ESA (Emergency Surface Accent) either by having bubble in their suit or panicking and going up too fast.
More over vertical ESA (or CESA) has been prohibited, at least in recreational diving... perhaps this is the reason it was forbidden...

Seemingly they use submarine escape suit as shown below :

Nevertheless, the symptom of having blood coming out from nose, ears and bubble from the mouth clearly shows severe Lung Embolism symptom one of the lethal level in Decompression Sickness (DCS).


Whilst again chronology of the accident is still unclear, we need to always bear in mind that popping out from 20m+ would could lead to death...



Later on, on November 2012, from chit chat among divers, I got another "backstage" information that explain the possibility of 'wrong coding' among the officers.
The two divers were supposed to wear special emergency suit and surface to be congratulated by higher rank officer. They have to go into a hold room (palka) and surface via a hatchway. They will have to signal the officer inside the submarine to flood the room. There is no visual nor electrical communication between the two and the officer inside. They can only bang the door and the officer inside will start flooding.

The rescue team that stays outside the submarine suspect something is wrong since the diver does not open the hatch in time. They opened the hatch door from outside and found the two bodies were already drowned and one of them did not properly wear the suit.

The navy presume that the two officer were giving false or early signal for the officer inside the submarine to flow the water. They can not open the hatch door and drowned.

Conclusion : This is not a scuba diving accident even though it involve diver and drowning.



5. Grotto Rosso Cave Accident, July 2012, 
As you may recon from the dive spot name, it is located in Italy, west coast in southern Italy near Naples, and it is a cave dive accident where 4 people died.

You could read the report and discussion on CNN News.

The name means : "Blood Cave", red walled cave because of bacterial growth. It is a popular 'beginner' dive spot, dove by hundreds of divers each year.


The accident is explained by one of the survivor who exit the cave safely, there are 8 of them 4 manage to go out alive and the other half died in the cave. 

The story is as follows :


According to one of the survivors, Marco Sebastini, an owner of a dive school in Rome, the group of eight divers entered the cave with no problem, but when trying to get back out, they found that their fins had kicked up the silty bottom of the cave, and visibility was near none.
This caused panic to strike, and the group ended up swimming into the wrong tunnel, and instead of making their way out, they took another tunnel, a dead end. Four of the divers managed to find their way back out, but the remaining four were later found dead in the tunnel.

Lesson to learn :
1. Cave diving need special training, even though it is a popular beginner's dive spot cave diving need special training more than a normal recreational (I mean all level of recreational certificate) diver. It is an overhead diving environment, period.
2. Learn to kick and control buoyancy, silty environment could become very bad because of one diver (need only just one) could not control his/her buoyancy or do not know how to kick on sand / silty bottom.
3. Always use guiding rope to enter and exit a cave no matter how familiar or common a cave is. The leader of the group above is an Italian dive school owner....








6. Menjangan (West Bali) Diving Accident, June 8th 2013.

Publication is as follow : http://www.memoarema.com/kriminal/pejabat-pemkot-batu-meninggal-usai-diving/26193#axzz2Xxh45hIH


Pejabat Pemkot Batu Meninggal Usai Diving

Senin, 10/06/2013 11:06 WIB
panji Pejabat Pemkot Batu Meninggal Usai Diving
Panji Wibisono (ist)
Memo– Pemkot Batu berduka, salah seorang pegawainya meninggal dunia beberapa saat setelah melakukan penyelaman (diving) di Perairan Selat Bali, sekitar Pulau Menjangan, Kabupaten Buleleng, Sabtu (8/6/2013) sekitar pukul 13.00.
Panji Wibisono (36) Kasubag Tata Usaha di Kantor Kesatuan Bangsa dan Perlindungan Masyarakat (Kesbang Linmas) Kota Batu ini mengalami sesak nafas beberapa saat setelah menikmati keindahan panorama bawah laut Pulau Menjangan.
Kapolsek Gerokgak, Kompol Made Putu Juen menerangkan bahwa seusai menyelam korban mengalami sesak nafas. ”Beberapa rekan korban sempat memberikan pertolongan dengan memberikan bantuan pernafasan, kemudian melarikan ke Puskesmas Gerokgak di Desa Goris, ternyata nyawa korban tidak tertolong, meninggal dunia dalam perjalanan menuju ke puskesmas,” ujar Made.
Hal senada juga dikemukakan oleh Kasat Reskrim Polres Buleleng, AKP Ketut Adnyana Teja. Penyebab korban meninggal diakibatkan mengalami sesak nafas saat melakukan penyelaman.
”Tidak ada kekerasan di tubuh korban, korban meninggal dunia akibat sesak nafas yang dialaminya,” terang kasat. Kematian pejabat Pemkot Batu yang tinggal di Jl Lesti ini memang mengejutkan. Panji bergabung dengan Klub Diving-nya. Keberangkatan ke Pulau Bali ini pun sudah dipersiapkan jauh hari.
Bahkan bersama-sama teman-teman satu anggota klub, dia berlatih terlebih dahulu di kolam renang Songgoriti dan Selecta. Tiga anggota klub ini bertolak menuju Bali menggunakan roda empat milik Panji.
Setelah istirahat semalam di Pulau Dewata, anggota klub ini berangkat menyelam di lautan yang memang menjadi idaman para penyelam. Menurut Ira, istri Panji, sebelum menyelam korban sempat menelepon istrinya. Ia mengatakan bahwa pemandangan di Pulau Menjangan sangat bagus, Panji berkeinginan untuk mengajak istrinya datang lagi ke Pulau Menjangan dilain waktu.
Beberapa saat menjadi visum di rumah sakit setempat, Jenazah Panji diboyong ke rumah orang tuanya, di Desa Ngambang, Kecamatan Ngudo, Kabupaten Jombang. Minggu (9/6/2013) jenazah korban dimakamkan di Pemakaman Umum setempat.



There is no official report neither from the diving organization that certified the victim nor from the police that could be used as learning material...

Rumors from the local dive guides / boatman saying that the group was reported using boat from Labuhan Lalang, the official port to go to Menjangan Island.
The group did not use local guide (supposedly 4 of them, but other source mentioned 20 divers were in a group with 2 'guides' -  one of them is an instructor).
This practice is common in Menjangan, as the island it self is quite small, the dive point is limited and the current is relatively easy even for beginners.

The accident occur on the 2nd dive where the group star descend from pos 2 to the left to Bat Cave point.
Rumor said they were surfaced and picked up at different point (not ascend as a group). 
The victim was said to be found / picked up by other boat and not from the original boat from Labuhan Lalang. Picked up in a severe condition, drinking a lot of sea water.
But no one knows why this could happened. 
The responsible instructor said the victim gulped water due to somehow panicked at the surface and high sea wave. This could not be confirmed by anybody but many said that the ocean was quite calm at that time.

Some other source said the victim tank was empty when he was picked up, and another source said dive computer read 20m max depth.


Although there were a lot (too many) rumor on what the main cause of accident / death.
The real cause of death is still a mystery, perhaps only the victim himself knew why....



Nevertheless, lesson to learned :

1. We should always dive in a group, the ratio between divers and guide should not exceeding 1:4 or 1:5 depends on the skill of the diver. Never dive / ascend / descend alone !! 
This habit (ascending and descending alone even they were diving in a group is somehow quite 'usual' practice.
I was even experienced group which descend together but not going to the same direction, making it hard for the leader to control member of the group and for the boat to notice and picked up the diver.

2. Always use local guide that knows the current and dive site character. Sadly true in many cases local guide (which were younger, lives by the ocean and dive more frequently) is more competent handling real emergency situation than the 'certification instructor'.

3. Always have proper training in handling emergency situation, diving is not just about passing certification grade or being able to use regulator and BC but must include the ability to handle our self in an emergency situation. So whenever we had real emergency situation, we knew what we should do...
In this case, possibility of out of air or high waves at the surface.








More to be added soon...

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